The Haunting of Hill House

by

Shirley Jackson

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Mrs. Dudley Character Analysis

The housekeeper and cook at Hill House. Mrs. Dudley speaks in a flat, robotic tone, never conversing with anyone other than to explain her schedule over and over. She and her husband Mr. Dudley, the caretaker, leave Hill House before it gets dark and refuse to return after nightfall, completing their duties there during daylight only. The only person to whom Mrs. Dudley seems to take a shine is Mrs. Montague, for reasons that are never explained.
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Mrs. Dudley Character Timeline in The Haunting of Hill House

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Dudley appears in The Haunting of Hill House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
The Supernatural vs. The Psychological  Theme Icon
The Search for Home Theme Icon
Fear and Dissociation Theme Icon
...child’s face to rap at the door. A woman answers it—Eleanor realizes this must be Mrs. Dudley , the caretaker’s wife. As the woman lets Eleanor inside, Eleanor senses an “air of... (full context)
The Supernatural vs. The Psychological  Theme Icon
The Search for Home Theme Icon
Fear and Dissociation Theme Icon
Isolation Theme Icon
Eleanor asks Mrs. Dudley to show her to her room, willing herself not to cry—she feels abject horror as... (full context)
The Supernatural vs. The Psychological  Theme Icon
Fear and Dissociation Theme Icon
As Eleanor sets her suitcase down, Mrs. Dudley robotically explains the schedule at Hill House. Mrs. Dudley states that she sets dinner out... (full context)
The Search for Home Theme Icon
Fear and Dissociation Theme Icon
Mrs. Dudley leaves the room. Even though she doesn’t want to stay in the “awful” house and... (full context)
The Search for Home Theme Icon
Isolation Theme Icon
...to the green bedroom adjacent to hers. The two are connected by a shared bathroom. Mrs. Dudley comes upstairs with the two women, and begins giving Theodora the same speech about the... (full context)
The Search for Home Theme Icon
Isolation Theme Icon
After Mrs. Dudley leaves, Eleanor shows Theodora her room, and the two discuss how hungry they are. Despite... (full context)
Chapter 3
The Supernatural vs. The Psychological  Theme Icon
The Search for Home Theme Icon
...dishes has been set out on the sideboard. As the group begins discussing the odd Mrs. Dudley and the fine table she’s laid for them, Theodora suspects that Mrs. Dudley feels Hill... (full context)
Chapter 4
The Supernatural vs. The Psychological  Theme Icon
...leaving trails or signs for themselves to help navigate it and naming the rooms together. Mrs. Dudley comes into the room and robotically states that she is going to clear the dishes... (full context)
Fear and Dissociation Theme Icon
Isolation Theme Icon
...In one room, they find a huge and grotesque marble statue of the Crain family— Mrs. Dudley and Old Miss Crain’s young companion are featured in the sculpture, as well. The statue... (full context)
The Supernatural vs. The Psychological  Theme Icon
Isolation Theme Icon
...they notice that there are over five doors out of the room. Theodora supposes that Mrs. Dudley wants to be able to “get out fast in any direction” should the need arise.... (full context)
Chapter 5
Fear and Dissociation Theme Icon
Mrs. Dudley enters the dining room and announces that it is ten o’clock—time for her to clear... (full context)
Chapter 8
The Supernatural vs. The Psychological  Theme Icon
Isolation Theme Icon
...notes. She then creeps to the dining room door, where Mrs. Montague is conversing with Mrs. Dudley —who speaks to her pleasantly, despite having never engaged the doctor or his subjects in... (full context)